After Week One of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Nelson Leafs occupy the same spot as team did when the last season concluded — on top of the Murdoch Division.
Nelson posted a pair of 4-1 decisions over teams from the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.
Ryan Piva scored twice on Opening Night as Nelson dumped North Okanagan Knights at the NDCC Arena.
Saturday, four different Leafs scored lifting the Green and White past Sicamous Eagles.
Nelson enjoys a two-point lead over second-place Beaver Valley Nitehawks as KI teams continue to fill out rosters for the upcoming season.
Piva powers Opening Night win
The veteran sniper Ryan Piva scored twice sparking the Leafs to a 4-1 victory over the visiting North Okanagan Knights at the NDCC Arena.
Piva scored in the first and second periods as Nelson built a 3-1 lead after 40 minutes.
Leafs captain Jack Karran and David Sanchez added singles. Kalem Hanlon added a pair of assists for Nelson.
Ty Toppe scored the only goal for the Knights, outshot by a 49-14 margin including 23-3 in the second period.
Leafs clip Eagles for first road victory
Nelson scored four unanswered goals — three coming on the power play — to edge Eagles 4-1 Saturday in Sicamous.
Justin Hodgson and Leaf captain Jack Karran gave Nelson a 2-1 lead after one period after the Leafs spotted the Eagles the early 1-0 lead. Both goals came on the power play.
Logan Wullum, also with the man advantage, and Nelson Minor Hockey grad Kaleb Comishin padded the lead with second period goals.
Nelson finished the game out shooting the Eagles 38-25.
Caiden Kreitz earned his second win of the season blocking 24 of 25 shots.
Lavoie earns firefighter of the game honour
Vancouver native Mitch Lavoie captured firefighter of the game accolades following Saturday win over Sicamous.
“Mitch always wears his work boots to the rink and tonight was no exception. He was solid in his own end and was able to contribute offensively by generating several scoring chances,” the Leafs Twitter account said.
The firefighter helmet was donated by Nelson Fire Rescue at the start of last season and is presented to the squad’s hardest working player following each KIJHL game.
Friday, prior to the North Okanagan-Nelson game, Leafs management held an on-ice tribute to the Humboldt Broncos hockey team.
The Broncos were heading to Nipawin, Saskatchewan, in April for a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game when the bus the players and coaches were riding on was T-boned by a tractor-trailer. The crash killed 16 people and injured 13 more.
After Leafs Head Coach Mario DiBella read the tribute, former Humboldt Broncos player, Ashton McLeod joined captains Jack Karran, of Nelson, and Jaden Hay for the ceremonial puck drop at center ice.
Next up a return Murdoch Division Action
After seeing two teams from the Okanagan/Shuswap Conference during Week One of the KI season, Nelson hosts a pair of Murdoch rivals this coming weekend.
Friday, Grand Forks Border Bruins visit the NDCC Arena. Nelson eliminated the Bruins during last year’s playoffs in seven games.
Grand Forks blasted Princeton Posse 8-1 at home Friday before dropping a tough 3-2 decision to Columbia Valley Rockies of the Eddie Mountain Division.
A goal by Ryan Skytt early in the third period proved to be the difference for the visiting Rockies.
Beaver Valley played just once last weekend, defeating Fernie Ghostriders 7-2 Saturday in Fruitvale.